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Avoid Eye Strain Caused by Computers and Electronic Devices 2/5/2020

Electronic devices are everywhere nowadays. Due to the constant use of computers, tablets, and smartphones at home, work, and school, we spend more time than ever in front of a screen.

Even if using electronic devices will not cause permanent eye damage, remaining in front of them for a long time may cause temporary discomfort. Visual fatigue manifests itself in different ways, but symptoms may include: dry eye, blurry vision, tearing, and headaches.

Visual fatigue occurs due to the fact that we blink less when our vision is focused on electronic devices. Usually, the human eye blinks around 15 times per minute, but this “blinking speed” can be reduced in half when looking at monitors and screens or when doing other activities that require looking at things at a short distance, such as reading.

Here are some things you can do to help relieve visual fatigue:

  • Rest frequently following the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen, and focus on an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a chance to recover.
     
  • Use artificial tears to lubricate the eyes if they are dry.
     
  • Keep your distance. Sit around 25 inches or one arm of distance from the screen and keep it in a way that you have to look slightly downwards at the screen.
     
  • Reduce brightness and glare. Devices with a glass screen can create glare. To reduce this, you can put a matte screen filter on the device. Adjust the brightness and contrast of your screen and lower the intensity of the lights to help relieve visual fatigue.
     
  • Use eyeglasses. If you use contact lenses, you are already aware of the dryness and irritation they can cause in the eyes. To help you with these symptoms, use eyeglasses instead of contacts when using a device during long periods of time.

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

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